Went tot the performance of Ailey II last night that had originally been C's and my's big night out. Glad friends (IRL and online) encouraged me to go. I did have to leave at 2nd intermission, but that was because of my joints and not my mental state. If you ever get a chance to see them, or the main Alvin Ailey troupe, do so - they're wonderful. Touch & Agree was their second of the three sets. Music was about 2x as loud as it should have been, but overall it was an enjoyable evening -- barring my joints; and the little incident right at the start of the show. Their very first dance segment of their first set used a fog machine; which set off the smoke alarms❕ Took them a few minutes to get the fog cleared out and the alarms turned off (though probably not as long as it felt). I felt bad for the dancers, but they were able to start back up again like they hadn't been interrupted [they finished the first segment before the house lights came back on and the stage cleared]. Touch & Agree was moving in a way that all good art should be. Brought back the sweeter memories of my Boy, and made me smile. 💖
Did have a brief moment of sadness this morning when I woke up alone instead if with my Boy in my arms, but work distracted me from that. Still "candidate season" and the weather caused delays again today for the early morning outbound flight. Flight in tomorrow should be fine, but the return flight on Tuesday -- and the inbound flights for the last candidate -- could be... um... "interesting". They're predicting snow, and the line between a dusting and several inches is way too close to here for comfort.
L gave me the number to the Memorial place that C's sis had used. She'd put down a down-payment on the headstone, but wasn't sure how she was going to pay for the rest of it. It's been such a busy week, I hadn't had time to call them until lunch today. Thay had to call his sis to get her verbal OK before talking to me (which I expected) and I paid off what was left on the headstone; was about what I was expecting. It was something I felt like I had to do for my Boy. I didn't expect the emotions that took a hold of me. Doing this was such a final thing - the period at the end of a painful sentence. And in the afternoon mail was the pamphlet from his funeral, and a DVD with a copy of the recording they took of his funeral. I think it will be awhile before I can watch that.
Most days are better. I can look back and think of him and the time we did have together and smile, but.... I know there will always be that "but" -- those moments that sneak up on you from nowhere.
So much for a relaxing day off. We're bringing in candidates for a few open faculty positions. Flight for the one leaving today has been delayed / cancelled. Waiting on automatic call-back from the airline to cancel the last two legs, as the candidate has made other arrangements to get back home (weird set of coincidences, but at least they have a way back).
Had my second counseling session yesterday. Honestly not sure how effective they are. Things are, ever so very slowly, getting better. Getting easier to think of the good times and the memories without hyperventilating or collapsing into a pile of tears. Doesn't look that professional when it happens at work.
Biggest hurdles for me are still the guilt of not having told him that I loved him -- even though I know he knew I did, and I know he felt the same way about me; and letting go of the idealized version of our next date, which would have been so very soon, when we had so many firsts planned. The feeling of having waited too long for those things -- even though I know that if I had pushed him too fast he would have bolted and ran. He was so afraid of being hurt again. A special place in hells for someone who hurts someone else that badly.
Still odd random things that will trigger a wave of pain and grief.
I love you my baby - you will always be your daddy's boy. 💗
Got an email this evening from a mutual friend of C and his sister. His sis isn't doing that well dealing with the loss; neither am I to be honest. C was a very private person, with everyone it seems, so I spent the last hour trying to decide how much to say and what I shouldn't. I did say that he was a man I loved dearly, that we had been dating off and on the the last several years, and that he was someone I saw a future with. I included the last selfie he sent me (G-rated) and the pic of the flowers I took after I put them on his grave, along with the pic he sent me when we first started dating - a time that seems like it was yesterday, even though it was so many years ago.
Spoke with someone at work I'm close with, who had known about my relationship with C, and told her what had happened. She offered to get in touch with his sister ("M") on Facebook -- as I don't have a Facebook account (or Instagram, or twitter, or....). She got a response. M did see the flowers I had left for C when I visited his grave, which makes me... well, not "happy" but pleased? They're waiting on a response from the VA on the headstone, and hope to hear back soon, though with the gov. shutdown I think that's optimistic. Work friend just introduced me as someone who cared about him deeply, not as the man he'd been dating; she did pass on my private email address (with my permission), so I hope M does contact me at some point. She hasn't been doing well -- they were extremely close. It sounded from t he conversation that I was correct in thinking that she didn't know who I was. He was a very private person, and I don't think he talked to his family that much about his private life. He was out, but I know there was some baggage there from when he was younger that -- for him at least -- made things more complicated. So it doesn't surprise me that he would be short on details of his dating life. This is the financial side of me, but I've also wondered in the last few days if she realized how much his Alberto Vargas print collection was worth.
A winter storm moved in on Thursday, which started Wed. night. Had the automatic though, "I should send C a txt telling him to drive home safe" -- then the moment of sharp pain when I realized I couldn't do that. I know I mourn not just the loss of a friend, and a man I cared for very much; but the loss of my dreams for our future, my hopes of how things would work out, my longing for our first "private time" that was supposed to be next month.... Some of those hopes/dreams may never have materialized, but the loss is still there. The potential that is no longer. 💔
Painted more of the loft today. It's been cathartic - and also somewhat painful. The loft ceiling slopes from 8' at the front of the room, overlooking the street, to just 27" on the back wall. And the stuff that was in the loft is in a big pile in the center of the room, covered with a tarp. So... not much room to work, and even though I can paint it sitting down and scooting back and forth the hips still don't like it. Will need a second coat, but that will have to go on tomorrow.
Finally switching out some light fixtures in my loft, which means once that is done I can start to repaint, replacing the hideous colors that were there when I moved in. So this afternoon I cranked up the music (hopefully not enough to bother the neighbors), started some prep-work, and did a couple of test patches. I'm a twisted individual who actually finds painting a room to be relaxing; and though some may have found my song choices to be a an odd choice for relief from grief, the music and work was calming. Some of the songs I listened to, if you want a glimpse of my current head-space:
Candi Stanton: He Called Me Baby
One eskimO: Kandi
George Michael: A Different Corner; Waiting For That Day / You Can't Always Get What You Want
Moby: When It's Cold I'd Like to Die [lyrics are depressing, but letting the melody wash over you is odly comforting; he's also called it one of the best songs he's ever written]
Jimmy Sommrville: For a Friend [this one did make me cry, but in a way that was releasing; a goodbye through music]
Rebecca Ferguson: Nothing's Real but Love; Teach Me How to be Loved
Sophie B. Hawkins: Did We Not Choose Each Other
I should have done this earlier; I'll need to do it again.
My friend S had me call the cemetery yesterday, to check to see if C's family had ordered a headstone yet, or if they needed more cash -- those things are expensive. The cemetery sent a letter to his father, but I think they have the wrong address (they sent it within this state but last I knew, from not too many month's ago, his father lived one state over); but you'd think they would have confirmed the address they have on file??? They'll send another letter (to the same, possibly incorrect, address) saying that there is an anonymous person willing to assist with the funds needed for the headstone.
S said I should just call his sister. I don't think she understands why I can't do that -- not now at least. I know - at least I think I know - the most likely reason why she didn't call me, but...... it still hurts that she didn't. And due to living with depression my entire life, there's this little voice whispering in the back of my mind that says maybe she didn't call because in spite of everything we talked about and everything we said through txt, C really didn't feel about me the way I think, the way I know, he did. We didn't discuss his family much. I'd have to hunt up her number online, but I could find her if I tried. A final reason is when we visited his grave, there was nothing there -- no other flowers, nothing; just bare dirt. It hurt so much to see that. I had expected to have to have found at least one small group of artificial flowers at least. I just don't think I could talk to C's sis without either breaking down or loosing my temper - or doing both. I hate feeling like an outsider intruding into "their business"
That was at 3pm. Off and on throughout the rest of last night I had waves of crushing grief slam into me. Grief I haven't felt since the night I found his obit online. Surprised my blood pressure is still stable.
Going to stop typing now. There seems to be water falling from my eyes.
Visit to the cemetery went well, I think. It started to rain lightly as I was putting the flowers on his grave, which seemed somehow appropriate. It's only been a month so he has no headstone yet. I need to try and call the funeral home next week and see if they will tell me if the family has enough $ to cover the cost. I know I could just find his sis' number online, but I'm reluctant to do that for reasons I can't quite explain even to myself.
Started grief counseling last night. Not sure how well that's going to go, but will give it a try. I have 6 free appointments through my work benefits. Logically, I know what I need to be doing; emotionally.... it's not so easy to actually do. Especially this morning. Trying to focus on our good times together, like our last date -- which the first time we kissed. Sitting in his car with my coat in my lap; had a sweet kiss & told him that he was so handsome. His doubt started to surface, so I took his hand and placed it on my lap under my coat; told him he could feel for himself that I meant what I said, and wasn't just saying it to be nice. His reaction to that, and his response, will always make me smile (no, I won't share what he said). For only being 70 miles apart, it was surprisingly difficult to get together (joked at one point the Universe was trying to keep us apart) but I will always treasure the few times we did have.
Told mom I won't be up for long this Christmas: up Monday morning, coming home Tuesday afternoon. Just too soon for a happy joyous holiday celebration. And if my brother says something I'll have to keep myself from hurting him.
Thank all of you for your expressions of support.
Have a friend who will take me to the cemetery where C is burred tomorrow. Taking the spray of flowers to lay on his grave, along with a not-too-personal note. If I'd had more time, I would have had them get roses that were a bit more lavender than pink, and bit whiter than cream --- but considering this was essentially a rush, as I want to see him to say goodbye before Christmas, this will do. I still think it's lovely.
Lots to say to him tomorrow. I hope that somewhere, he can hear me.
I miss you baby; your Daddy will always miss his Boy.
This is copied from a status update. Wasn't thinking clearly when I posted it, so put it there instead of here in the blog:
My heart is broken this weekend. The man I had been dating off and on who lives about an hour away died last month -- and I just found out about it this Friday night; almost a month later. He works in retail and this is always a crazy time so not hearing from him for a bit wasn't unusual, but that bit got longer... then longer. When I sent him another txt on Friday evening it wouldn't go through, and something in the back of my mind said, "search online." That's when I found his obit. The day after we last talked he was the store getting groceries and collapsed. He died the next day of an aneurysm brought on by high blood pressure, which I know he had been treating. Funeral was just before Thanksgiving, and I missed it completely. wasn't even able to say goodbye.
The biggest drawback of not being on any social media sites like Facebook. He was a private person, and I doubt he told his sister much about us; and without an online footprint how could she have found me? and if he didn't tell her, how would she have known to even look?
He was my baby, my reason for being optimistic about the future; about our future together. We'd been taking things slow because he'd been burned so badly by his last relationship. We'd planned to get together after the holiday insanity passed; our first private time together -- all our other dates had been out in public, and we were limited to brief kisses and discretely holding hands (the joy of small town living in the South). I was finally going to tell him, "I love you" instead of just hinting around the edges. Now I'll never be able to do that. My only consolation is knowing that our last conversation we told each other that we made each other happy; something not easy for two people both fighting depression.
I'm going to miss you my baby -- I already do, so so very much. "Daddy" is going to miss never being able to show his boy how much he meant to me. Never going to be able to hold you in my arms again, never taste your sweet lips on mine, never hold you close and snuggle up together.
I love you C, and I always will.